I wasn’t going to let a Music Monday pass without honoring the late Dave Brubeck, the jazz legend, pianist, and composer who died last Wednesday, one day short of his 92nd birthday. The California-born son of a cattle rancher enjoyed a tremendous career in music that spanned seven decades, and was very much beloved and appreciated by the public, if not always the critics. Since his death, an abundance of Brubeck articles and tributes can be found on the web, chock full of his extensive jazz contributions and biographical information. I for one had no idea that he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1980. In the New York Times obituary of Dave Brubeck, one paragraph really stood out for me:
Mr. Brubeck once explained succinctly what jazz meant to him. “One of the reasons I believe in jazz,” he said, “is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart. It’s the same anyplace in the world, that heartbeat. It’s the first thing you hear when you’re born — or before you’re born — and it’s the last thing you hear.”
Some terrific jazz to get our week started, this is the Dave Brubeck Quartet performing “St. Louis Blues” in Belgium, 1964. Brubeck on piano, Joe Morello on drums, Paul Desmond on alto sax, and Eugene Wright on bass. Wright, by the way, is now the only surviving member of the original Brubeck quartet. Enjoy!